Being married

MK and I will be married seven years tomorrow. It feels like yesterday that I first met him. Online. (Yes, there’s a reason why I’m devoted to the Internet.) We met on a matrimony site. I was 23 and in a a fit of complete indecisiveness, had charted out two completely unrelated directions for myself that year–one road that led to a doctorate in English Literature and the other to a matrimonial site. I had gone through a bad breakup over a year ago, and was really lonely. I decided I’d take on whatever comes my way first–academics or a relationship. I hadn’t told my parents (or friends) about this matrimonial thing. On the one hand, I was studying for my GRE and on the other, checking emails on the sly to see if anyone had responded.

Apart from the usual creeps, I wasn’t getting too much interest–I wasn’t exactly “wife material.” My profile said I had a Masters in the Humanities, I liked an occasional drink, wasn’t very religious, and was evidently not in the tall/fair/slim category. To make matters worse, I had a job in a start up dealing with eLearning–what the heck is that? I hadn’t had the guts to approach anyone, either. I’d keep checking once a day just to see if my market value had improved but not much was happening.

Then, one day, a bloke dressed in a very corporate suit sent me a message saying his gran also taught English, and that he found my profile very interesting and could we chat? I went to his profile–there were a lot f details about the family and a bit about his education and work; nothing pompous about values and religion or anything superfluous like that. Also, I didn’t believe the gran bit at all. But just because it was one of the few emails I had received, and the chap looked quite pleasant and trustworthy, (of course, I trust too easily but anyway) I sent across a response–something absolutely silly like did his gran teach literature or linguistics? I know now that the question stumped him. We chatted very briefly over email for two days. And then, he suddenly said, “You know, the best part of communication these days is the SMS (this was long ago, remember–we didn’t know it was to be called “texts!”) facility. You can chat anywhere, anytime (no 3G then).” And he shoots off his number. I froze. Does this mean he wants to talk to me now? What if he’s a stalker? What if he calls me incessantly for days on end at odd hours  and says dirty things? But what if he’s THE guy? He’d been all polite and everything all this while–perhaps I should give it a shot?

That night, once I was in my room, I spent a restless hour or so fidgeting with the phone and not paying any attention to my GRE word list. Finally, I turned off the lights, walked to the window and dialed the number. A deep, pleasant, very alert voice answered. I gulped. “Hi, is that M?” “Yeah, who’s this?” “Guess who!” (Why did I say that? How did I suddenly get playful? Why was my voice so calm and perky?) Finally, I told him. “Oh, hi! Actually, I’m in a meeting–can I call you back a little later?” I was sure he thought I was desperate. He didn’t want to talk to me. He was never going to call back. I tried to go back to my studies, my ears red and burning with embarrassment but I couldn’t concentrate. I kept thinking about how warm he sounded and my head kept telling me to stop thinking about him. The phone vibrated in the next 15 minutes. It was him! We ended up chatting from 11 pm to post 5 am that night and then the rest of the week. In the day, through the night. We talked about childhoods, grandparents, work, horses, what films we liked–the usual stuff–interspersed with long silences and laughter. As dawn would peek over the hills, and one of us would drowsy, the other would offer to hang up. Of course, we never hung up immediately. And even if we did, we called back in no time.

At the end of the week, we finally met at a mall. He had the most warm, awkward smile and the most honest, smiling eyes I had ever seen on a guy. We went into a restaurant for lunch but he was a little uncomfortable (for a reason I will tell you when we’re all ready to talk about it). So after we had soup, he offered to go someplace else. I began to get a bit worried, frankly. But I put on a bold face, and agreed to go someplace quieter, where we could talk. We came out of the mall and thought about where to go. Finally, he said “I live close by and I can’t think of anywhere else to go. Would you mind coming back to my place?” I gulped a bit and said “Sure!’ wondering what he’d think and what if he’d take advantage or something. I made sure my phone had enough battery life, put the home number on my last called list, and sat with him in the auto rickshaw.

We entered a very bright, residential area and went up a very decent looking, seemingly family-oriented building. He turned the key and we entered a bare apartment. There were basic curtains, a sofa loaded with ties, pink papers, bags, books, and other stuff. A mattress lay on the floor, not very neatly made. He showed me around. One bedroom had a double-bed; again towering high with endless papers, business magazines, ties, socks and other bachelor stuff. A washing machine stood bored in a corner. The other bedroom was even more bare with the exception of an old office desk that had a dusty PC on it and sundry other minor furniture. The kitchen had water bottles and Maggi wrappers. I asked him why the house was so bare despite the two odd years he was living there–he said he was waiting for the woman of his life to come along so they could do it up together. Sahi jawab, I said in my head!

Finally, we sat down on the mattress in the living room. He drew the curtains to let in light; I think he wanted me to feel secure. We sat next to each other with our legs outstretched. I saw his feet for the first time–strong, broad, clean, good looking feet. The kind that makes you think they belong to a good guy. He was still uncomfortable. Finally, after gulping several times and mustering up the courage, he confided in me–and when he was done, I heaved a sigh of relief. He had not kept some dark, dirty secret from me; I had realized it about him the moment I met him and it was, in my mind, the smallest detail ever. I was confident I would iron it out if we got married. I was too busy looking beyond that tiny detail at this honest, seemingly tall guy who, I wished would just envelop me in his arms. By now, he was relieved that I wasn’t offended by what he had just told me and when I told him it didn’t bother me one bit, he smiled that warm smile of his that reaches his eyes and tuns them to slits. I said I was hungry and he gave me a quizzical look when I said we should get an additional topping of pineapple on our BBQ Pizza. Some laughter happened. “Toh, shaadi karegi?” he asked. I smiled.

Tomorrow it will be seven years since we tied the knot on an unusually rainy October morning. I won’t say we have gone through a lot, but we haven’t had it particularly easy either. But whatever it was, through thick and through thin, this man has stood by my side with unwavering support. Through illnesses, through depression, through agonies of career switches, he has always given me the correct advice, the necessary support, and unusual selflessness. He has nurtured in me the confidence to do something on my own and always given me the extra push that I always need to do something new. He makes me coffee and chai when I have my sinus attacks, and always, always makes sure I have the covers on me when it is cold.  He is the best father Avanee could ever have–one that drops her off to school every single day, sings silly songs with her and takes her on walks. I never did my doctorate; but here I am, fueling a new dream, redefining what I wanted from life and achieving it–all thanks to MK.

Seven years have passed by, and I still feel lonely if he’s late from work. Seven years have gone by, and I’m still that 23 year old standing in the window in a dark room, looking at a light in the distance and melting at the reassuring voice on the other end of the phone.

Comments (36)

  1. Nivi October 1, 2013 at 7:35 am

    Thats beautiful. Many congratulations on your anniversary.

  2. Geetha October 1, 2013 at 8:01 am

    Hi Saee! What a lovely tribute to your husband ! Loved reading it! Bless you both and Bless your lovely daughter! Have a great time ahead!

  3. Priya October 1, 2013 at 8:48 am

    one of the most beautiful, heartfelt, simple way of explaining a very complicated relationship…… Lovely!!

  4. Ahalya October 1, 2013 at 9:55 am

    I feel warm and fuzzy and right just reading this. Made me want to tell my husband how much I love him and how full of gratitude I am that he is who he is. And I just went and told him that. I love how rooted and deep your love is for him, and him for you and the love the two of you created with your daughter. May the love just get happier and happier…. 😀

  5. Reeta October 1, 2013 at 10:06 am

    Such a heartwarming story…stay blessed! 🙂

  6. arundati October 1, 2013 at 11:18 am

    MAny congratulations and wishing you and M many more wonderful years ahead. loved the story!

  7. KEtan October 1, 2013 at 11:53 am

    A lovely lovely write up Saee. Bought a smile on my face 😀

  8. Priti October 1, 2013 at 2:38 pm

    This post of yours made me want to comment after a long long time. First of all, wish you both a very Happy Anniversary! May all your dreams come true. I enjoyed reading about how you two met 🙂 I had a constant smile on my face as I read your thoughts during your first meeting and didn’t even realize when tears appeared as I read the 2nd last para…you have written it all so beautifully, with so much love and genuineness that I could hear your heartbeats while reading it. 🙂

    • admin October 1, 2013 at 7:21 pm

      Priti! How I’ve missed you! Can’t blame you for not commenting, though–I haven’t been writing much. But I have news to share with you, soon. 🙂

      And thank you for your wishes!

  9. G Swati Reddy October 1, 2013 at 2:45 pm

    Saee and MK (not sure if I am allowed to call you that :-p .. My appologies if O am not!) CONGRATULATIONS and Bless Ya!
    Saee, a beautiful expression of love, life and the ever complicated meaning of relationship!
    All I can say is I am so so blessed to have you in my life as my niece .. Oh! Ok ok let me spell it out . Granddaughter! Read it ten times already :-)! Thank you for sharing it!
    Thank you MK for coming into Saee’s life and ours too :-)!
    Love Ya!

  10. kirti October 1, 2013 at 7:17 pm

    just started reading your blog
    and it was osm
    did have tears at the end of it 🙂

  11. Madhuli October 1, 2013 at 7:35 pm

    Saee and MK Happy Anniversary to both of you. May God bless you always

  12. Reema October 2, 2013 at 12:03 am

    I just cried a little, Saee.

  13. Madhumita October 2, 2013 at 1:39 am

    Had a lump in my throat! Happy Anniversary 🙂

  14. Spandana October 2, 2013 at 2:15 am

    What a lovely post. Enjoyed reading it. Loved especially the last lines.
    Happy Anniversary and wish you many many more years of togetherness, love and happiness!

  15. Aditi Vaishampayan October 2, 2013 at 3:07 am

    Hey Saee Happy Anniversary to both of you. You penned your thoughts about your life partner beautifully.

  16. Simon J Lobo October 2, 2013 at 4:03 am

    Dear Saee,

    Love knows no bounds – what a subtle yet expressive way to bring out and express your inner most feelings. Your writeup is like a film rolling in front of my eyes.

    I related to most of your feelings (except internet) that were experienced 28 years back. I see myself as your MK. My wife who had lost her parents in the recent past then was like – is this the right guy for me, just like MK invited you to his home, so did I invite my wife – I can still vividly remember each an every expression on her face of fear, of anxiety, of doubt, of need to be reassured……..

    You have been together for 7 years and we have been together 4 times over. Saee, Sincerely pray that the Good Lord bless you and MK not 7 times 4 but 7 times …………………. of love and companionship.

    And let me share one very important message that I have always shared with my closest friends – I always say to them : I gave my wife 1 measure of love, warmth and happiness and what I have got back is simply unmeasureable.

    And before I close – on behalf of my wife and myself here is “Wishing Saee & MK a Wonderful Wedding Anniversary”.

    Blessings & Best Wishes
    Simon J Lobo

  17. yasmin October 2, 2013 at 4:14 am

    i met my husband online too! congrats n happy anniversary !

  18. Delnavaz October 2, 2013 at 6:21 am

    Beautifully written without any inhibitions..
    Wish you many more wonderful years of togetherness

  19. Sudhindra October 2, 2013 at 7:12 am

    Very beautifully written and congratulations on your anniversary.. God bless you and your family.

  20. Siri October 2, 2013 at 8:19 am

    Your story of love is so beautiful Saee. Happy happy anniversary and hope you celebrate many such lovely moments in many years to come. Hugs.

  21. Nitya October 2, 2013 at 9:06 pm

    That is the sweetest thing I have read in a long time. I love your style of writing. Wishing you a long and happy marriage. It’s beautiful to still feel like young lovers even after many years of marriage. Such a beautiful thing is that love.

  22. manasa October 3, 2013 at 12:19 am

    hay congratulations on completing the 7th yr … it was a nice read about u and ur family .. love to know that you guys are happy 🙂 🙂 🙂 … wish you guys lots n lots of luck and happiness dear …
    lots of luv
    manasa

  23. Divya October 3, 2013 at 2:21 am

    Congrats!!!
    My love story was almost same, i mean online but not through a matrimonial site, but wrongly sent email and then social networking and m happily married from last 4 yrs now with a baby boy….Touchwood…

  24. evolvingtastes October 8, 2013 at 11:19 pm

    Finally had the chance to read this. Beautiful – the story as well as the writing! Belated, but congratulations.

  25. Suneeta October 10, 2013 at 9:31 pm

    What a heartwarming story Saee! I read it a few times and even read it out loud to my husband! I love the honesty with which you wrote. Congratulations on completing 7 years together. Wishing you decades of them in the year ahead.

    I am relatively new you to your blog, but have been obsessing over some of your recipes, lately, will post soon and link.

  26. Shilpa Rao October 16, 2013 at 7:30 am

    Dear… Happy Anniversary to you both… Woww… What a deja-vu I had reading thru your lines… Something I would write or narrate my story… So very SIMILAR!!! Except I was going to US for work not studies ;P and my husband is a doctor!!! We will complete 9 years this December… I am definitely going to read this out to my hubby… I am still dumb struck!!
    Love your site and now love you more as we share a similar story.. All the best will look forward for more interesting stuff in this space…

    Shilpa

  27. priyanka January 8, 2014 at 10:05 pm

    Many many congrats on spending seven beautiful years with the man you love and having a lovely symbol of your love in the form of Avanee.

    the right faith and support can help achieve even the impossible. you are lucky to have that support.

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